I've been guest blogging about the traps about KDP Select, which I've been trying out. All last week the Christmas themed poetry book I co-wrote with Carolyn Howard-Johnson was free on Amazon, and this week, my novel Black Cow is free (until the 24th of Dec). In case you aren't familiar with KDP Select, it's Amazon's program for authors who are willing to make their e-book available exclusively on Amazon for 90 days. KDP Select has a number of benefits, including allowing authors to give away their ebooks for 5 out of the 90 days. Why would I want to give my books away free? There are a few reasons. The first and simplest one is that writers write for readers, so getting more readers is always a worthwhile exercise. The second is that, if people like the book, the word begins to spread, and that's the best way to get new readers, which may ultimately become buyers, sharers, promoters, reviewers. It's all good.
Does it work? It certainly worked for Blooming Red, which hit #1 in its category several times during the free period, and also got a number of sales after the free period - maybe people who downloaded it liked it and bought it as gifts for their friends. Maybe it was just the additional buzziness around our names. We also got a ton of publicity, including being a hand picked best free book of the day on OneHundredFreeBooks, lots of retweets (thank you everyone!), and recommendations. Above all, it was fun, because I love giving books away (ask anyone). Please go and help yourself now (just click here: Black Cow), before the promotion ends. Happy holidays!